Instant Follow Friday: Michael B. Jordan, aka the Human Torch, Is Your New Favorite Superhero
Michael B. Jordan is this summer’s hottest actor, and not just because he’s starring in Fantastic Four as Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch who literally has the power to become engulfed in his own flames.
Jordan has an impressive lineup of gigs under his belt, and many more to come. Maybe you know him as Vince Howard in Friday Night Lights, or perhaps you’ve seen his riveting portrayal of Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station. He’s even worked with Miles Teller before Fantastic Four, in That Awkward Moment alongside notorious bro Zac Efron. And his next film, Creed, is sure to be a hit: working once again with Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, Jordan stars as Adonis Creed, boxing mentee of former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvestor Stallone), the son of Balboa’s late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
One thing is for sure: the handsome 28-year-old is taking Hollywood by a storm (nice pun, we know), and thus we’re bestowing him the honor of this week’s Instant Follow Friday.
For another, when confronted with criticism after he was cast as Storm/the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four reboot, Jordan penned a thoughtful and perfect op-ed in Entertainment Weekly entitled “Why I’m Torching the Color Line.”
He wrote in part:
You’re not supposed to go on the Internet when you’re cast as a superhero. But after taking on Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four—a character originally written with blond hair and blue eyes—I wanted to check the pulse out there. I didn’t want to be ignorant about what people were saying. Turns out this is what they were saying: “A black guy? I don’t like it. They must be doing it because Obama’s president” and “It’s not true to the comic.” Or even, “They’ve destroyed it!”
…Sometimes you have to be the person who stands up and says, “I’ll be the one to shoulder all this hate. I’ll take the brunt for the next couple of generations.” I put that responsibility on myself. People are always going to see each other in terms of race, but maybe in the future we won’t talk about it as much. Maybe, if I set an example, Hollywood will start considering more people of color in other prominent roles, and maybe we can reach the people who are stuck in the mindset that “it has to be true to the comic book.” Or maybe we have to reach past them
…To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends’ friends and who they’re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It’s okay to like it.
And most recently, Jordan had to confront ignorance again during a cringeworthy radio interview with Atlanta’s Rock 100.5, alongside his co-stars Kate Mara (who plays his sister Sue Storm) and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/The Thing). The host was confused by the fact that Jordan and Mara’s characters were siblings.
“But you’re white and you’re black,” Steven J. Rickman remarked. “How does that happen?”
At the time, Jordan responded by saying, “They could be raised as brother and sister. There’s a whole bunch of different family dynamics there can be without the obvious adoption.” (Unfortunately, the interview continued to snowball downhill from there when the interviewer creepily complimented Mara’s hair and toes).
Later on, during a sit-down with HuffPost Live, Jordan poignantly said of the interview:
Sometimes journalists use that room as a safety net to kind of say whatever they want and ask questions that they would never normally ask you outside of that room. So, as actors, sometimes we feel the pressure to always say what you’re supposed to and kind of put your best foot forward [in] promoting the film. But we’re still people. We’re still human. So that kind of bothers us. But you know, at the end of the day, we don’t want to bring the attention to ignorance, and we always take the high road on these things and move forward.
Finally, Jordan spoke out in support of his friend and co-star Teller, whose interview with Esquire (entitled “Miles Teller Is Young, Talented, and Doesn’t Give a Rat’s Ass What You Think”) made headlines this week because it alleged that he’s a “dick.”
— Michael B Jordan (@michaelb4jordan) August 6, 2015
Proving that they’re a tight-knit family, his other Fantastic Four co-stars did the same; Mara tweeted, “My movie husband @Miles_Teller is crazy talented and a truly fantastic [email protected],” while Bell tweeted, “@Miles_Teller is a great actor & a great guy. @esquire.”
All in all, Fantastic Four’s early ratings aside, Jordan is absolutely one well-spoken, well-dressed man to watch.
A photo posted by michaelbjordan (@michaelbjordan) on
Fantastic Four comes out in theaters on August 7, and is part of our Summer Movies Must-See list. Check out all the best summer movies here!